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Is it time to screen all patients with hypertension for primary aldosteronism?

Jun Yang, Peter J Fuller and Michael Stowasser
Med J Aust 2018; 209 (2): 57-59. || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00783
Published online: 16 July 2018

Screening for primary aldosteronism in patients newly diagnosed with hypertension would maximise treatment benefits and minimise end-organ damage

Hypertension is the second leading risk factor for death and disability globally.1 In Australia, 6 million adults are affected2 and, on the basis of the evidence we discuss in this article, a significant proportion may have primary aldosteronism (PA) as a secondary cause of their hypertension. PA, of which a subset has been known as Conn syndrome, is a disease characterised by excessive autonomous aldosterone production.3 Contrary to the traditional teaching that this is both rare and benign, PA is common, specifically treatable, and associated with significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.4-6

  • Jun Yang1,2,3
  • Peter J Fuller1,3
  • Michael Stowasser4

  • 1 Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Monash University, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Monash Health, Melbourne, VIC
  • 4 Endocrine Hypertension Research Centre, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD

Correspondence: jun.yang@hudson.org.au

Acknowledgements: 

The Hudson Institute of Medical Research is supported by the Victorian Government’s Operational Infrastructure Support Program. We acknowledge the assistance of Christopher Harrison, Research Fellow at the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney, for extracting data on the diagnoses of PA from the BEACH study. We also thank John Funder for his enthusiastic support and inspirational guidance in advocating for a greater appreciation of PA.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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